By Indykids Staff

Name: Arlene Joyce Soriano

Age: 10

Home: Manila, Philippines in a neighborhood called Buayang Bato or “Crocodile Stone”

Language: Tagalog and English

Religion: Catholic

Favorite subject in school: English and Science

Favorite food: Ginataang kalabasa (sweet potato stewed in coconut milk)

Living situation: Arlene lives with nine other people: her mother, uncle, two aunts, three cousins, grandma and grandpa

Parent’s work: Arlene’s mother is a life insurance agent

Favorite hobby: Playing with younger cousins

What do you want to be when you grow up?: A doctor

What would you like to say to kids in the United States?: “Study hard so you can learn. Life here in the Philippines can be very hard because we don’t have a lot of money for food or extra things.”

Did You Know?

The U.S. won the Philippines in the Philippine American War (1898-1902). Filipinos didn’t want to be a U.S. colony* so they resisted. More than one million Filipinos died in the war.

The Philippines officially became an independent country in 1946.

The Philippines is very poor. 88% of the people live in poverty.

Today many Filipinos consider the Philippines to be a “semi-colony” of the U.S. because of U.S. influence in Philippine government, military, media and education.

Can you think of other parts of the world that are U.S. colonies or “semi-colonies”?

*A Colony is a region politically controlled by a distant country

Learn a little Tagalog

Good morning: Magandang umaga

How are you?: Kumusta ka?

How old are you?: Ilan taon ka na?

Dog: Aso

Cat: Pusa

Human rights: Karapatan pangtao

Bye!: Sige!